Consumer Advisory Panel

1. Introduction

The Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario (FSRA) is a regulatory agency mandated to safeguard public confidence and trust in Ontario’s financial institutions, promote public education and knowledge, and protect the rights and interests of consumers. To achieve this mandate, we are committed to an open, transparent and collaborative approach that ensures consumer input and perspectives inform our direction and decisions.

“Consumers” are those who purchase or benefit from products and services delivered by the sectors that FSRA regulates, including pension plan beneficiaries and credit union members.

The Terms of Reference is intended to inform the operation of the Panel.

2. Purpose

The Consumer Advisory Panel (the “Panel”) will serve as an advisory body to FSRA (through the Consumer Office), and provide advice from a consumer perspective, on proposed FSRA policy changes. The Panel is an important part of FSRA’s stakeholder engagement process.

Overall, the Panel is intended to:

  • act as an advisory body to provide advice from a consumer perspective on proposed FSRA policy-related matters and changes
  • provide external input and personal perspective/experience to proposed policy-related matters and changes
  • identify topics covered by FSRA’s mandate to be considered by the Consumer Office for potential consumer policy, outreach and education discussions that would enhance consumer protection/confidence when engaging in market activities that are delivered by the sectors that FSRA regulates
  • inform and assist the Consumer Office in amplifying the voice of the consumer in FSRA with regard to rule making, policy initiatives, business planning, and consumer protection

3. Panel mandate

  1. identify annual topics for the Panel, based on FSRA’s Statement of Priorities, through an agenda-setting meeting at the outset of every Panel term
  2. provide feedback and input on FSRA’s approach to meaningful consumer engagement
  3. provide input on matters in, or which should be in, FSRA’s Statement of Priorities
  4. provide feedback on the progress made by FSRA on its priorities from the previous annual business plan
  5. act as a voice for the consumer perspective during the FSRA management consultation processes on proposed policy priorities (e.g. guidance) within the framework of FSRA’s Annual Business Plan/Priorities
  6. provide advice on emerging consumer policy, outreach and education matters, either identified by the Panel or brought forward by the Consumer Office
  7. identify topics for information purposes, for the consideration of the Consumer Office, or for potential policy discussion, that would enhance consumer protection/confidence when engaging in market activities that are delivered by the sectors that FSRA regulates
  8. review and provide input on consumer research undertaken by FSRA, or undertaken by third parties that may be relevant
  9. oversee the production of an annual report by the Consumer Office outlining the key activities of the Panel
  10. provide feedback to FSRA on the functioning of the Panel

Note: The Panel is not intended to replace FSRA's Stakeholder Advisory Committees (SACs), which may also include representation of consumers by sector.

4. Panel authority

The Panel’s role is advisory. Its advice and recommendations will be considered as input to FSRA for review and consideration and may or may not result in action or policy change.

5. Appointment of consumer advisory panel members

Appointments to the Panel are made through an open, transparent and merit-based application process posted online. Selections are made by a selection committee composed of FSRA’s Chief Executive Officer, the Chief Consumer Officer and one Executive Vice President (“Selection Committee”), based upon the relevant experience, skills, knowledge and perspectives of the applicants.

The Panel will be chaired by a member of the Panel. A Chair and Vice Chair will be appointed by the Selection Committee. The primary role of the Chair is to provide leadership to the Panel to ensure the Panel performs its mandate and maintains effective relationships with the Chief Consumer Officer, Consumer Office team, members, and other stakeholders.

FSRA publishes the names of the members of the Panel on its website.

6. Panel composition

Panel members provide evidence-informed and consumer-focused insights to help FSRA understand and deliver on Ontarians’ expectations of our services and policies.

The Panel is comprised of individual consumers, representatives from consumer associations, financial literacy experts, academics with background in consumer law or other recognized consumer experts in the financial services sector.

Ideally, the Panel’s membership will:

  • bring insights from all the sectors FSRA regulates that will help address consumer harm
  • include perspectives from a variety of consumer demographics including, but not limited to, seniors, Indigenous peoples, newcomers, youth and low-income Ontarians
  • represent a mix of both high-level expertise and experience representing consumer interests in ongoing interactions with regulatory authorities and industry
  • provide insights from across Ontario

Taking into consideration a balancing of consumer perspectives the specific composition includes sectoral representation from:

  • individual consumers
  • consumer associations
  • consumer advocates
  • academics
  • financial literacy experts
  • from other regulatory agencies

7. Administration, meetings, agendas and deliverables

The Panel will meet up to six times a year (minimum of two meetings), and additional meetings may be called as required.

The Consumer Office will provide all Secretariat, Administrative and Policy support to the Chair and Panel more broadly (as required). A member of the Consumer Office will attend each Panel meeting as an observer and record the meeting summary.

The Consumer Office may also invite observers and/or experts to assist the Panel in its duties. The CEO and other FSRA staff from Core Regulatory areas, Policy, Legal and Public Affairs, are ex-officio members of the Panel (non-quorum) and will attend when relevant matters are raised at meetings.

The Consumer Office will prepare a summary of each Panel meeting and distribute it, including any accompanying written submissions, to members, typically within three weeks following a meeting.

FSRA intends to publish a high-level summary of the Panel’s work on FSRA’s website within approximately three weeks of each meeting.

The agenda for each meeting will be prepared by Consumer Office in consultation with the Chair. The Chair will work with the Consumer Office on the development of proposed meeting agendas. The final agenda for each meeting will be provided to each Panel member, targeting seven days in advance of each meeting, together with appropriate briefing materials.

A quorum for a meeting of the Panel will be more than 50% of its members present either in person or via remote conferencing.

Where possible, the Panel members will use best efforts to develop consensus and to identify any issues where consensus does not exist and the reasons for an absence of consensus.

The Panel, through the Consumer Office, is intended to provide an annual report to FSRA on its key activities and the report may be published on the FSRA website, incorporated into the FSRA annual report or published elsewhere.

The Panel may be asked to attend other meetings (e.g. Board meetings) as required to discuss the work of the Panel. Panel members may also be invited to participate in Panel sub-committees (or working groups), where appropriate, to discuss technical or sector-specific issues.

8. Public process, input from others and disclosure issues

The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, as amended, will (unless otherwise specified by FSRA) apply to information provided to the Panel and to material prepared by or for the Panel for presentation or delivery to FSRA’s Chief Consumer Officer.

Panel members may be required to sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) before assuming a position on the Panel or for specific meetings.

Members of the Panel are permitted to obtain assistance from colleagues or collaborators. However, members and those who assist them are required to maintain the confidentiality of all information provided to the Panel, or prepared by or for the Panel for presentation or delivery to FSRA (with the exception of information made public by FSRA, including any submissions by the Panel or its members as part of a public comment process sponsored by FSRA).

9. Remuneration and expenses

Members of the Panel will receive a per diem remuneration of $250 for attendance at meetings as a Panel member (refer to Schedule A) and will be reimbursed for reasonable travel expenses in accordance with FSRA’s Travel, Meal and Hospitality Directive.

The Chair and Vice Chair are eligible (if applicable) for up to one additional per diem for each meeting as preparation for the meeting.

To be reimbursed travel expenses, members must receive approval from FSRA prior to making travel arrangements and will be required to submit a travel expense claim with detailed receipts.

No additional expenditures or commitments will be made without FSRA’s prior authorization. The meeting fees will be reviewed on an annual basis.

10. Term limits and reappointment

Panel members are appointed for two-year terms, with a possibility for extension to a maximum three-year term.

The Chair and Vice Chair of the Panel are appointed for one-year terms, with a possibility for extension to maximum three-year terms. 

11. Attendance at meetings

Each Panel Member is expected to devote sufficient time to Panel affairs, including the review of materials and attendance at all meetings of the Panel.

12. Termination of membership

The Chief Consumer Officer may choose to add or remove any member of the Panel at any time and a Panel member may resign by giving written notice.

Schedule A:  Consumer Advisory Panel’s Remuneration Guide




Consumer Advisory Panel (CAP) Meetings

More than 3 hours One (1) per diem rate
Less than 3 hours One half (0.5) per diem rate

Working Group/Subcommittee CAP Meetings

More than 3 hours One (1) per diem rate
Less than 3 hours One half (0.5) per diem rate

Other Approved Meetings


e.g. orientation sessions, stakeholder meetings, engagement, special events and other meetings with pre-approval from the Chief Consumer Officer.

More than 3 hours One (1) per diem rate
Less than 3 hours One half (0.5) per diem rate

The Consumer Office (“CO”) will track all meetings which are booked through it, and Panel members are encouraged to advise CO of any meeting to ensure accurate record keeping.